lab notebookYou know how it goes. It’s late. You’ve finally finish your experiment, and the last thing you want to do is add an entry to your notebook. You’ll make that entry, tomorrow.

Yeah, sure. Chances are you won’t even remember to make the entry, let alone all those little details that you wish you knew when looking at that particularly strange, bad, or awesome sample you process a week later. Or perhaps you did write down the details—will you be able to find this relevant information when designing a similar experiment next week, preparing for group meeting next month, or when you sit down to write your thesis 3 years later?

Keeping good records is not just about writing down detailed notes. It’s about being able to easily access relevant information at a later date, whether you at your bench or at a meeting halfway across the world. It’s about not losing years of work if you lose your notebook. It’s about not having to leaf through hundreds of sheets of paper to find that one tidbit you faintly remember writing down sometime last May … or was it last year? It is for these reasons—instant searches, remote access, and continuous backups—that I keep an electronic notebook. I have searched the internet far and wide trying to find just the right electronic notebook. And while I still haven’t found that perfect lab notebook application (developers contact me, I have tons of great ideas!), I have found some perfectly acceptable options. Here is what I have found.